During the summer of 1998, the REU student participants were involved in some very interesting research. Some of them examined severe weather phenomena such as: flash floods, hail, lightning, tornadoes, shortwave troughs, and supercell thunderstoms. Others attacked problems dealing with regional climatologies, meteorological instrumentation, and weather warning systems. At the conclusion of the program, the students wrote their research papers and presented their findings orally to other members of the Oklahoma Weather Center scientific community. The students had access to research facilities at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the University of Oklahoma College of Geosciences, National Weather Service Forecast Office, the Storm Prediction Center, the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and the University of Oklahoma library system.
Dr. William Beasley gives a lecture on developing a research proposal (very valuable for those considering graduate school). "Dr. Beasley's lecture was an invaluable and rewarding experience" -Chris Rozoff
Dr. Scott Richardson gives the group a tour and presentation on meteorological instrumentation. "It was cool to hear about and see a mesonet site." -Alical Cacciola
The STELLA model exercise is a unique way to teach students about scientific model and Earth Systems. (front to back: Chris, Russ, Gregg, Christina) "I found the lectures, overall, to be very interesting and informative. " -Russell Teabeault
A group of OU Meteorology and Physics graduate students joined us and the Physics REU for ice cream. "Good ice cream, good conversation" -Steven Decker
(Left to right: Gregg Gallina, Chris McAloon, Ryan Fuller, Chris Rozoff, Alicia Cacciola, Russell Teabeault, Steven Decker, Christina Hannon, Jill Derby, Jamie Casto)
Jill and Alicia talk with OU Meteorology students about the graduate school experience. "I took advantage of talking with the grad students. They gave some very useful info." -Jill Derby
Field Experiences: The 1998 REU student participants were involved in a number of field operations in the later part of May and early June. These operations included the MCS Electrification and Polarimetric Radar Studies project (MEaPRS) and the Sub-VORTEX project. Comments: "...The MEaPRS experience was incredible, and I only wished it had lasted longer." -Christina Hannon
Students who participated in MEaPRS gathered data on board the NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft and chased thunderstorms in search of lightning. The P-3 provided some exciting moments for a few "green in the face" students who now understand the true meaning of turbulence.
What was your most memorable REU experience? "...getting sick on the P-3." -Chris Rozoff
Several students also chased supercell thunderstorms in search of tornadoes with the Sub-VORTEX or the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment. This adventure took our students into north Texas. Although no tornadoes were spotted, they did encounter the awesome power of the Mighty Supercell! (Mobile Mesonet Vehicle used for Sub-Vortex)
Several of the students and REU staff went out storm chasing. Here are some photographs from the June 8, 1998 storm chase in central Oklahoma. "...Seeing my first tornado and going up in the P-3 were two things that I will never ever forget." -Chris McAloon (Steven Decker and Greg Gallina observe a low level moisture flowing into a developing HP Supercell.)
The storms were intercepted around 4:00 PM outside of Chickasaw, Oklahoma. We back tracked into the Norman area around 5:30 PM, catching a powerful supercell with a pronounced area or rotation and wall cloud on its southwest side. (Alicia Cacciola and Jill Derby observe a rapidly intensifying mesocyclone)
The storm produced a couple of tornadoes near Maud and Wewoka, Oklahoma later that evening. A couple of student intercepted a small tornado which crossed the northern portions of Oklahoma City on June 13, 1998. "The field opportunities were amazing. I learned so much by just going along for the ride." -Jamie Casto